What is the maximum recommended height above the floor for an above-the-range microwave?
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
The NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) recommends that the bottom of the microwave be no more than 54 inches above the floor, which allows 18 inches clearance above the typical range/counter height of 36 inches. Otherwise, a shorter person would be reaching over their head to remove a hot item from the microwave—which is dangerous. We think that is a sensible maximum installation height, but a higher or lower level should probably be determined by the needs of the occupants of the house.
The International Residential Code (IRC) and Florida Building Code (FBC) defer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions and do not have a specific code requirement. Most manufacturer’s installation manuals recommend that the top of the microwave be at 66 inches above the floor. That is, coincidentally, also the standard height of the bottom of a wall cabinet above the range in most kitchens.
The question of maximum height for an over-the-range microwave came up today at a home inspection where the bottom of the microwave was 62 inches above the floor. Our customer’s comment was “I don’t think I want to try to pull a bubbling lasagna down from there!”
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